Vator Box

5

Entrepreneur matchmaking sites

Is there a market for services that bring ideas and money together?

Innovation series by Bambi Francisco Roizen
August 11, 2008 | Comments (7)
Short URL: http://vator.tv/n/382


In this episode, we look at RaiseCapital and FundFindr, two companies seeking to match entrepreneurs with investors. This is a fun topic for me, as Vator is definitely a venue for both those seeking funds and those dispensing them. Keep in mind, however, that as much as people say Vator is a matchmaker between entrepreneurs and investors, we're not. We're just the platform for both sides to be found. Vator is mainly a place where entrepreneurs can share their own narrative, be discovered, be followed and build a reputation. Along with our newsroom, Vator is really a media, content company that is primarily built on participatory or user-generated content. To this end, we seek to partner with companies, such as RaiseCapital and FundFindr, if they can provide the matchmaking services for us. 

Co-host Ezra Roizen (Vator Box regular and investment banker), and Lise Buyer, consultant to companies that want to IPO, filled this week's roundtable discussion.

The idea of bringing both sides together is something that is definitely needed, we all agreed. This is mainly because the Internet has enabled many people to build their own companies. And, in my view, it's because investors are becoming savvier and they're willing to take risks in private placements rather than penny stocks.  Indeed, there were 57,000 companies that received angel funding last year. Angels invested $26 billion in funding. If one assumes that 3% to 10% of those seeking get funding, then the list of companies seeking funding is significant.

Now, all they need is access and money.

It's no wonder, these sites, as well as Ideablob, TheFunded, FundingUniverse, Fundability, Gensx, and YouNoodle, have emerged. The key to the success of these services will be in their business model. Will they charge entrepreneurs or investors? Will they charge a subscription fee, a success fee, a consulting fee, or will they go for advertising dollars?

We discuss all that in this week's Vator Box.

 


Related companies, investors and entrepreneurs

Thumb_1888_idealblob
Ideablob
Startup/Business
Description: ideablob.com is where entrepreneurs and small business owners can share and grow their business ideas – and have a chance to win $10,00...
Plogo_raisecapitalcom-raisecapitalcom_rclogo
RaiseCapital.com
Startup/Business
Description: RaiseCapital.com is an online community, where entrepreneurs can showcase their business ideas and capital needs whether a start-up or ex...
Plogo_younoodle-younoodle_yn_logo
YouNoodle
Startup/Business
Description: YouNoodle helps people and groups that are interested in startups and innovation do what they do better.  YouNoodle.c...
Plogo_fundfindr-speed-dating-for-entrepreneurs-and-investors_fundfindr_tv
fundfindr
Startup/Business
Description: fundfindr is venture dating made easy. fundfindr is a social media company disrupting the global early stage funding and support systems....
3791
Lise Buyer
Principal,
Class V Group
62
Ezra Roizen
General Manager,
STRATEGYfx, LLC
Bio: Advisor and commenter on emerging ventures, focused on digital media, e-commerce and mobile companies.My transactional activities are per...

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Comments

Comment_gbg
Bradly Couch, on August 11, 2008

"Me --it's my show"

GREAT SHOW Ms. Bam


David Saad
David Saad, on August 11, 2008

Matchmaking and offering a platform or an exchange are quite different. Matchmaking is a "contact" sport. The real value of matchmaking is not in its computerized system but rather in the matchmaker's rolodex. Thus, it is a service - a highly personalized service. On the other hand, a platform is a place where constituents can connect, learn from each other, discover trends, etc. The workflow, automation, navigation, and features are quite important in a platform. Job boards are very poor at matchmaking, and thus, they expanded their matchmaking service by providing tools to manage the recruiting process for both employers and candidates. It seems to me that those companies are doing the same. Having said that, I feel that Ezra got it right - seed funding occurs mainly because of the affinity to the entrepreneur, which does not exist on those sites. Regardless of how well those sites computerize the deal flow, at the seed level, it's not the process but the trust and confidence in the entrepreneur.


Bret Conkin
Bret Conkin, on August 12, 2008

Firstly, we agree with Bambi on the winner - ha! We enjoyed the feature and we've been fans of Vator.tv and the platform you are creating for innovation - well done on driving an audience, on valuable content and regular feature enhancements. As Ezra pointed out it is easier to review a new widget in a category than a media or platform. The pitch critique is always useful and stay tuned for an update - Raisecapital's was well done but more of an ad than a pitch.

We did want to point out a correction for your audience. fundfindr has produced significant original content - interviews with investors and leading entrepreneurs, demos, webisodes and byte sized advice segments we call Success Snacks. This content is featured on fundfindr.tv and in the Learn section of fundfindr.com.

Appreciate your comments as well David, we see fundfindr as an enabler for matchmaking not a replacement for the current "contact" sport. Of course, the same thing was probably said about stock brokers a few years ago. Not comparing public vs. private just that change is the constant today.

Like Bambi suggests of vator, fundfindr will also take a collaborative approach and partner with complimentary services and events (like Vator). The space is dynamic including: i) deal flow software providers (Fundability) that as Bambi said will battle with Angel Soft, ii) funding request sights charging for investor access (GoBigNetwork, Findthatmoney), iii)training/education (Fundinguniverse modules) or charging for broadcasts of VCs chatting (Fundingpost - anyone paying?), iv) idea forums (didn't go so well for Cambrian House) and v) media sites with pitches like Techcrunch and Vator.

Our take is there is a substantial market to serve here but not simply based on business models of advertising or success fees. And not by throwing more dealflow (video) over the transom as Lise mentioned - the key is customized, quality deal flow, quality content and creating the efficiency and liquidity Ezra mentioned.

Stay tuned to vator.tv, fundfindr.tv and this category - should be fun. Topic for another day is bootcamps - we're fans of BootUp Labs. And Bambi, left you a message couple days ago ...


Anthony Mitchell
Anthony Mitchell, on August 13, 2008

FundFindr gets my vote, in part because of their relevance to the stock exchange and rough-and-tumble angel environment in Vancouver, BC. It’s a different investment environment in BC, fed by mining money and us former HKers with more optimism than common sense.

On the downside, there is some brand confusion in play here. They are pitching with a dot-tv domain, (as if the company were a media play) but with a dot-com listed on their company profile.

If they are confused about who they are, investors and entrepreneurs will be too.


Rajeev Goel
Rajeev Goel, on August 13, 2008

Vator Box is totally informative. When can I be a guest host?


Bret Conkin
Bret Conkin, on August 13, 2008

Thanks for the vote Anthony - We see it as dual promotion for our services rather than branding confusion and we are clear who we are. fundfindr.com serves entrepreneurs, investors and service providers based on a platform of user generated content. fundfindr.tv is our media channel and production service featuring original content of events, news and leading personalities. Want deal flow? Subscribe to pitch feeds. Advice and news? Subscribe to the .tv feed.


Comment_gbg
Bambi Francisco Roizen, on August 14, 2008

I just spoke with Richard from RaiseCapital re his business model. We weren't exactly spot on about RC's business model, so Richard had to enlighten me. For the record, RaiseCapital isn't trying to match investors and entrepreneurs. Richard and team tried last year by charging $30 to $40 per month to post a profile. Today, it doesn't charge and the platform grew from 700 pitches to 3400 today. RC hopes to make money (it's not profitable yet) via sponsorships and advertising and prominent placement on its site.


Comment_gbg
Art Koenig, on August 22, 2008

I Agree - Me My Show - Great Bambi - I would have clocked him too.


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